After two long years of closed borders, quarantines and restrictions, travel is back with a vengeance – if you can find somewhere to go that isn’t fully booked. Travelers trying to plan sought-after destinations find limited flight options and full hotels.
Those still planning to take a last-minute trip to breathe in the waves of vineyards, hike the trails of the Rocky Mountains, and sample wonderful local dishes need not worry about runaway demand. The curators of app Origin, a travel planning company, have compiled a list of five countries it recommends for phenomenal vacations that aren’t totally overbooked. So take a look at these alternatives to skip destinations and start planning.
Our latest “Where Can I Go?” uses the technicality of search algorithms and the genius of travel experts to prepare individual travelers for the uncertainties of COVID restrictions. Learn more: https://t.co/mdmSH8WXXK
— Origin (@OriginDot) March 23, 2022
Avoid the Tuscan crowds for Portugal’s Douro Valley
If sipping wine surrounded by hills of vineyards sounds like your type of rest and relaxation, get away from the Tuscan crowds and cruise through the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. Feast the senses on the fermented goodness as you relax and watch the region’s namesake river meander through the verdant mountains, shaping one of Europe’s most scenic wine regions.
Perhaps best known for dry reds like Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca, the Douro Valley doesn’t skimp on the whites. The most important are usually Malvasia Fina, Rabigato, Viosinho and the sparkling vinho verde grapes – perfect refreshment for a summer afternoon.
Dozens of wineries spread throughout valley after valley, creating the most enduring challenge in the Douro Valley: where to go next.
Enter Western Norway instead of the Dolomites
The Dolomites Mountains of northeastern Italy are an extension of the Alps which form a stunning natural tapestry that makes the perfect outdoor playground…which is why the Dolomites are awash with visitors all year round.
Alpine summers are not only available in Central Europe, however. A journey further afield in western Norway puts visitors amid almost 300 mountain peaks above 6,560 feet and a thousand mountain peaks over 5,400 feet above sea level. sea. This means almost endless scenic viewpoints and far fewer people to encounter on hikes, bike rides or boat rides. And there are few places in the world to match the awe-inspiring beauty of kayaking in a fjord.
To refuel, there are a number of quaint towns in western Norway that serve up traditional Bergen dishes – cinnamon rolls, Raspeballer (potato dumplings), cod, mountain trout and sweets at the coffee.
Avoid the crowds of Rome… Go to Rio
In summer, hordes of madmen occupy Rome, all hoping for a taste of its former glory. With dense tourists and hot weather, a dream trip can quickly turn into a headache. Skip the lines, but stay in the big city vibe and visit Rio de Janeiro during the city’s warm winters. June, July and August are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, but there’s certainly no snow on Rio’s scorching tropical beaches. When travelers to Brazil’s biggest party city tire of the sand, Rio’s cosmopolitan side can be found in the central Lapa district, filled with trendy bars and restaurants and samba music.
Get the best of the Amalfi Coast… Via Costa del Sol, Spain
Directly translating to “coast of the sun”, the south Spain sets the bar high, with 320 annual sunny days shining over major cities like Málaga or Marbella, as well as whitewashed houses overlooking the Mediterranean Sea that look like an Old World dream.
Once a series of small fishing villages, the area is now renowned for its idyllic coastal towns that are yet to be overrun by tourists. For travelers looking for the ultimate summer getaway, the Costa del Sol is perfect. Soak up the Spanish sun by a sea that feels like bathwater before heading through nights warm enough to wear shorts. The Costa del Sol is in Andalusia, where Mediterranean dishes pair perfectly with cold beer and fresh fried seafood.
Avoid Sicily and head to Crete
Sicily is a wonderful island to visit, but during the summer months the tourist crowd thickens. People looking for an alternative can find relaxation and adventure on another island, Crete.
Somehow, Greece’s largest island is still untouched. Maybe it’s the gods still protecting the place. Crete, after all, is the birthplace of the twin gods, Apollo and Artemis, as well as the leader of the Olympians, Zeus.
Across Crete are the marble ruins and ancient remains of the people who worshiped these deities. pristine mountain landscapes plunge into fertile valleys and steep gorges, all surrounded by glistening beaches and Mediterranean blue. And that’s without even mentioning the food.
Local cuisine – savory cheeses, savory olive oils and endless seafood – is now harvested with sustainability in mind. This goes for the distinct fine wines of this ancient civilization.
No matter where the journey goes, people have to travel to get there, and that’s no easy task in a post-COVID-19 pandemic world. To avoid long lines, Origin offers assistance: keep carry-on baggage only and if necessary, as the travel agent can help ship items to travelers’ destinations.
By booking with Origin, customers benefit from an automatic VIP welcome upon landing, which also translates to assistance from customs and airport personnel, thus avoiding queues. An Origin-curated itinerary starts at $600 per person per day and includes accommodations, private tours and experiences, domestic flights, private transfers, breakfasts, and all necessary field logistics.